An electric bike, or e-bike, offers a little bit of extra power for your ride. The body takes the shape of a conventional bicycle, but it benefits from an electric motor that helps pick up the slack as you try to pedal uphill, tow a load, or just get from A to B.
Buying an electric bike makes daily cycling more practical. It allows you to switch out your car in more circumstances, such as on your commute, by helping you along. Forget showing up sweaty — your bike can help you as much or as little as you need.
Today, you can buy an e-bike worth tens of thousands of dollars or bikes under a thousand. Not long ago, low-end bikes were hardly worth the paper your receipt was on. However, a surge in popularity encouraged manufacturers to invest in creating models for all budgets.
Our list includes the best electric bikes from every price range, and you’ll find there’s something for everyone.
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How We Made Our Choices
We made our choices based on a combination of the manufacturer’s specifications, comparisons to top performing bikes, and reviews from customers. Our interest isn’t just in what the manufacturer claims the bike can do but how well it works after a few turns around the block.
We made sure to note both the cold hard facts and some of the most common opinions and issues that came up among customers who bought and used the bike.
By putting all these factors together, we put together a balanced review that will better equip you to buy your first (or second or third) electric bike.
Six Best Electric Bikes
Are you ready to find your new wheels? Below, you’ll find our list of the best electric bikes. The list occurs in no particular order, so be sure to read through each description for a full overview of the product.
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Do you love the Dutch bike style but prefer the help of battery-powered assistance? Check out the Nakto Electric Bicycle.
Nakto is an American company dedicated to providing quality electric bikes for cyclists on a budget. Nakto saw an opportunity to bring in a whole new market for battery-powered bikes by offering a design that is both affordable and competitive with mid-range bikes.
Before Natko’s launch, a budget e-bike wasn’t worth the cost of the raw materials. Nakto focuses on the essential components and sells directly to consumers to keep prices down.
NAKTO’s Camel fashion bike offers the look and feel of a cruiser with a 36V 10Ah lightweight battery. The battery comes with two drive modes: pedal-assister or throttle. The bike also includes six gears to make switching from flat to hilly terrain simple.
We like the Nakto Camel because it is easy to mount and dismount, which makes it ideal for frequent starts and stops. The low-step frame ensures a comfortable commute to work or just around the block. Nakto also spent a significant amount of time on the saddle, so it’s unlikely that you will feel tempted to replace it with an aftermarket version.
The basic specs for the bike include:
Overall, the specs compete with some of the high-end e-bikes, even if the range is shorter than some of the high-performance bikes.
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The Ancheer Power Plus Electric Mountain Bike is an entry-level electric mountain bike that serves as a great introduction without the cost.
As a brand, Ancheer already holds the respect of electric bike enthusiasts.
The mountain bike offering is durable enough to use off-road but is still comfortable on the pavement. Rather than calling it a true mountain bike, think of it as a trail-ready electric bike.
Everything on the bike offers just what you need without much more. You get enough front suspension for trail riding and a rugged design that absorbs impact and keeps you upright.
But how does the motor fare? The issue with many early electric mountain bikes was that only the most expensive bikes presented a motor that made any difference during long, uphill slogs.
What are the specs? You’ll get:
Let’s talk about the motor. It’s a 250W high-speed brushless rear hub motor with three speeds and a 36V lithium battery. You’ll get about 20 miles out of a full charge if you don’t pedal at all, but you could go as far as 50 miles if you contribute your best effort.
Controls for the motor sit on the handlebars. Control requires you to toggle between three power levels with the highest setting being a full-throttle mode.
When you run out of juice, it takes four to six hours to recharge it completely.
There are two weaknesses: handlebar grips and saddle. However, these also tend to be a matter of personal preference, and replacing the parts is easy and inexpensive.
Overall, the frame and wheels/rims mimic a true mountain bike, and we like the minimalist style. You will find that it is far heavier than a traditional bike but adding a battery pack makes it unavoidable. If you use a traditional mountain bike, you’ll find that you need to make some adjustments in your maneuvering.
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Story Electric Bicycles came to dominate the search engine results after Oprah offered the company a spot on her coveted list of “Favorite Things.”
Story Bikes are incredibly high quality and offer a better range and speed than almost any low- or mid-tier model. You’ll get a 45-mile range and enjoy speeds of up to 20 miles per hour no matter what model you buy.
Story Bikes’ biggest selling point is not its quality — despite it being one of the best consumer products on the market — but its style. If what puts you off the electric bike is the geeky design and exposed battery, then Story Bikes designed a bike for you.
Story hides the battery to make it look like your smooth sailing is the result of powerful legs and a high level of fitness — not a battery pack.
The hidden battery offers a 350-watt electric motor featuring five pedal assist levels ranging from a bit of extra push to 20 miles per hour.
Story’s extra features also appeal to those new to cycling or electric bikes. The company installed an LCD screen that offers control over your pedal assistance. It also tracks your distance so that you’re never caught unaware of how much juice you have left.
As for the Step Thru model, you’ll find that it is a unisex bike that comes in three attractive colors: white, matte black, and green. Putting it together and adjusting the pieces is simple with easy-adjust options.
The general style is that of a Dutch bike, which some Americans refer to as a cruiser. The step-thru design means you don’t need to swing your leg over the saddle but simply “step through” the frame. It’s best for flat terrain, but moderately hilly terrain isn’t out of the question.
Finally, Story bikes are ideal for those who want to invest in something quality and give back in return. Every Story Bike sold generates a second bike that Story donates to someone in need.
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The SwagCycle Pro Folding Electric Bike is a mini-bike that may remind you of some of the earliest e-bike concepts. It’s small, foldable, and more resembles a scooter than a bike.
The bike is a low-power bike best designed for city streets or park trails. Riding it for the first time is often a strange experience. You don’t pedal the bike, and you can only run it in one mode — full throttle.
To ride it, you take a seat, twist the right handle grip, settle your feet on the front pegs, and ride off into the sunset.
If you want a foldable bike and you don’t have an interest in using it for exercise or riding for long distances, then the bike works well.
We also recommend this bike for tech enthusiasts who like to track every facet of their lives. You can track your mileage, adjust your speed, and more. You can even plug your phone into your bike and store it away in a compartment to charge up your phone during your commute.
Can you commute with the bike? Many say yes. You can easily commute short distances every day of the week as long as you keep an eye on the battery and charge it when required.
What do customers love? They like the quality of the build. It is surprisingly sturdy for a folding bike. They also love the speed. However, customers sometimes complain about the battery, but it is unclear whether these are isolated issues.
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Ready to hit the road or the trail? You need a hybrid bike, and ECOTRIC has your back.
The ECOTRIC New City Travel bike is a mountain and city bike combo with a 350-watt battery powered motor attached for even more fun.
ECOTRIC isn’t an established brand the way Story is. Media moguls have yet to blog about them, and we have yet to spot a tech genius cruising around on one.
Already you can see specs that stand out. The range is much better than many other bikes that top out at 30. We also love any bike that uses Shimano gears in a bike’s transmission system.
Unlike other bikes, it also provides three riding mode choices including Electric Mode, Electric Assist Mode, and Normal Riding Mode. The bike works perfectly well as a pedal cruiser even with the attached battery.
We recommend this bike for people who want the look and feel of a pedal-powered hybrid bike but with the help of an e-bike because the motor hides inside the bike frame. It’s also one of the few beach cruisers that stands up to hardy terrains like compact sand or dirt paths.
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The Goplus bike is another quality bike that offers the right amount of power for pedaling up hills without packing on extra weight. In reality, a Goplus is a rebranded Nakto bike, so if you like the sound of a Nakto but like the features on the Goplus, know you’ll get the same quality.
Goplus’s 20-inch offering differs from some of the other hybrid bikes because its design mimics some of the smart, portable bikes you see in commuter hubs. The bike is a 20-inch model that allows you to switch out the tires and take on new terrains.
It uses an aluminum alloy frame, which is not the same as a 100 percent aluminum frame. However, it is still lightweight and durable. Goplus also provided a carbon steel front fork for better control and ideal breaking.
We like that Goplus added a dampening seat post as a standard feature. A bike like this would cause you to feel every bump along the road, so extra cushion makes the bike better suited to non-paved surfaces.
The battery provided is a removable 48v 8AH Ion lithium battery featuring a smart lithium battery charger. Goplus says you can ride up to 35 kilometers on the bike depending on the speed and power required. On your ride, you can choose from six speeds (through the six-speed transmission) and enjoy the use of two hydraulic brakes.
Finally, Goplus uniquely uses its working mode compared to other bikes covered. There are two modes: e-bike and assisted bicycle. Choose e-bike to turn things over to the motor or assisted bicycle for help with your own pedaling.
Customers love that it goes fast — up to 18 miles per hour — and love the look and style of the bike. They also tend to be those who love devices and gadgets that stand out, and you need to prepare yourself for the stares and questions you’ll get from passers-by.
Electric Bike Buyers’ Guide
Electric bikes were once a niche product, but we now recognize the value of having a battery powered motor to help us get from A to B. Buying an electric bike makes it easier to go faster and further while also leaving your gasoline-powered vehicle at home.
But what kind of power do you need from an electric bike? What are its most important features? We’ll show you what you need to know to understand some of the bike reviews listed above fully.
What Styles Are Available?
Today’s buyers have the option to invest in several different styles including:
The bike you buy depends on your use for it. Do you intend to use it for long distances or commuting? Are you looking for a sporty style to take on trails or even in the mountains?
Electric mountain bikes make up the most exciting section of e-bikes at the moment. These bikes offer the most promise in demonstrating how far these bikes can go.
What Kind of Battery Do I Need?
You’ll also generally find lithium-ion batteries. The price of the bike often signals the kind of battery installed. High-end e-bikes use complex batteries that charge faster, hold a charge longer, and weigh less than simpler batteries.
You’ll usually find batteries ranging from 7.5-10Ah, and these will suit commuters who don’t have a need for speed. Some bikes go up to 18Ah, but you’ll need to ask for the battery upgrade.
Keep in mind that you will replace the battery. Lithium-ion batteries typically last 800 full charge cycles. After three years, you’ll likely need to replace it. However, you can also make your battery last longer by using it carefully. Charging it halfway rather than leaving on the charger might be one way to prolong the life of your battery.
If you want the latest battery, keep an eye out for high energy density batteries like 700Wh batteries, which are slowly becoming more common.
What About the Motor?
In most cases, the motor fits into the wheels of the bike, but high-end models like the Story might hide away in the frame. Motors placed on the wheel have direct access to the chain and propel it, but the motor placement doesn’t make a significant difference in power or speed.
We recommend looking for motors that offer control of the assist levels. Folding e-bikes often provide only one or two controls, but more options for motor assist allows you to extend the life of your battery both throughout the week and the life of the battery.
Featured Image via Pexels
Last update on 2021-07-26 at 16:34 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API